Peak bone mass

Osteoporos Int. 1994;4 Suppl 1:7-13. doi: 10.1007/BF01623429.


Peak bone mass, which can be defined as the amount of bony tissue present at the end of the skeletal maturation, is an important determinant of osteoporotic fracture risk. Measurement of bone mass development. The bone mass of a given part of the skeleton is directly dependent upon both its volume or size and the density of the mineralized tissue contained within the periosteal envelope. The techniques of single-1 and dural-energy photon or X-ray absorptiometry measure the so-called 'areal' or 'surface' bone mineral density (BMD), a variable which has been shown to be directly related to bone strength. Bone mass gain during puberty. During puberty the gender difference in bone mass becomes expressed. This difference appears to be essentially due to a more prolonged bone maturation period in males than in females, with a larger increase in bone size and cortical thickness. Puberty affects bone size much more than the volumetric mineral density. There is no significant sex difference in the volumetric trabecular density at the end of pubertal maturation. During puberty, the accumulation rate in areal BMD at both the lumbar spine and femoral neck levels increases to four- to sixfold over a 3- and 4-year period in females and males, respectively. Change in bone mass accumulation rate is less marked in long bone diaphyses. There is an asynchrony between the gain in statural height and bone mass growth. This phenomenon may be responsible for the occurrence of a transient period of a relative increase in bone fragility that may account for the pattern of fracture incidence during adolescence.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aging / physiology
  • Bone Density / physiology*
  • Bone Development / physiology*
  • Bone Matrix / physiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Nutritional Physiological Phenomena
  • Puberty
  • Sex Factors